On October 19, the Association for International Affairs organized a public discussion “Perceiving Today’s Russia”. As speakers participated Mikio Ikuma, Senior Editor of Yomiuri Shimbun and former Moscow Bureau Chief, Jan Šimov from Russian Service of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and finally Ondřej Soukup, Foreign Desk Reporter of Hospodarske noviny daily.
At the beginning, the panellists agreed on the differences between the reality of life in Russia and the media image. They also tried to describe the specificity of Russian democracy and to demonstrate their opinions on examples of Russian policy acts. Challenges such as economical problems, bureaucracy or slow liberalization were also identified. The speakers discussed Russian influence over Europe, especially over the Czech Republic, whether it is a threat and how it can be limited. An interesting and an unusual aspect of the discussion was Mikio Ikuma´s Asian perspective on the entire issue.